Domestic Violence Month just as important as Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published 7:14 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October is readily recognized as National Breast Cancer Month and the observances and programs rightly call attention to this deadly disease.

But lost among the programs and special events observing Breast Cancer Month is another special observance that is just as important and serious as breast cancer — domestic violence.

October is also Domestic Violence Month, which calls our attention to another very serious, and sometimes deadly, problem that like breast cancer has no regard for age, race, sex, religion or financial status.

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Like cancer, domestic violence affects entire families, but its reach also extends into the homes of neighbors and can affect the places where people work and pray. There are many cases where abusers have walked into the victim’s home, business or church with the intent to resolve differences, which sometimes result in one or more deaths or injury.

Contrary to popular opinion, not all domestic abuse is physical. Many men, women and children suffer from the internal scars of verbal and mental abuse they have absorbed over the years and in some cases never recover without expert help. They are made to feel inferior and are unable to function in society because of the abuse they have received.

Vicksburg is fortunate to have resources like Haven House, The Vicksburg Domestic Violence Empowerment Program and Warren-Yazoo Mental Health where victims of abuse can go to seek help from the treatment they receive at the hands of their abusers.

So this month, while we work to help researchers find an end to a deadly disease, let’s take time to remember another disease that can also leave scars and be just as deadly as any medical malady.

Take time to talk to these agencies that help people suffering from domestic violence and abuse. Take the time to learn more about how it works to help those agencies to combat it, just as you would work to help stop breast cancer.

Domestic violence and abuse is a serious and inexcusable act that can only be corrected by education and a change in our behavior toward others. Its victims don’t ask to be treated poorly and many don’t know how to escape it. Let’s do our best to help those agencies that can help the victims. And let’s do our best to be educated about this loathsome form of behavior.